And now for the Country mouse POV…11

Posted by Deirdre // 01-11-2012


So the other day I got a tweet from REALDutchessMom asking if I was having a hard time leaving the city. Yep, pretty much. But then again I have a hard time deciding what to have for lunch – I’m just not great at choosing one thing over another (much to the dismay of my husband). You might guess that I love small plate restaurants and sharing dishes. This is true.


And it happens to host the Dutchess County Fair

So she offered to “convince me” and I took her up on it. She kindly created a whole post devoted to this! Honestly, I don’t need much convincing for *considering* that area, Rhinebeck/Red Hook/Tivoli. It’s definitely on our short list, which exists somewhere in our heads and within the pages of this blog.  And I envy much of her life – growing vegetables, having a big dog, doing Pilates (sure I can do that here but I don’t). So having just featured a mostly pro-city post, I thought it was appropriate to see the other side.


9 Responses

  1. January 12th, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Not to hijack the discussion, but I’m so curious about what life is like upstate if you don’t have kids…and I never hear much about it? Does that even exist? I have the upstate dream too, but have convinced myself that it could only possibly work via a weekend home because otherwise my husband and I would be bored out of our effin minds, and wouldn’t have anyone to hang out with, and would obviously have to drown our sorrows in shitty Chinese food that we had to drive 20 mins to pick up as we look back longingly on how good we had it in Brooklyn and how much we miss Hunan Delight. At least, that’s the conversation in my head…

    • Deirdre says:
      January 13th, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      Erica –
      At least you don’t have to worry about schools! Did you see the post on Upstater blog about Jonathan Dixon splitting his time between Brooklyn and Saugerties? It’s a great interview, which includes lots of dining tips (and cautions) for upstate. I linked to it here:

      I think you’d have to do the split. I mean, Fucked in Germantown? Not sure that works.

    • January 16th, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      Effed, I’m the one who wrote “The Horror” post….actually it was my husband’s words. We don’t have kids. You hit the nail on the head with the Chinese food, only we were longing for Red Hot Szech (which oddly enough, I don’t find as good these days).

      We LOVED, LOVED, LOVED going up to our Ulster County home in the woods on weekends and even week long stays. The restaurants up in that area are far better than the more suburban Beacon, where we moved to next. Our mistake was thinking that it would still be our paradise once we moved up full time.

      My advice to anyone who isn’t sure about it is to get the weekend place but don’t give up on your NYC place until you’re sure you can make it up there. Homes are pretty affordable up there right now.

  2. January 11th, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    In response to Christine, I do work. I sing on commercials and do voice overs. I’ve been working since I was 7 years old. I put myself through college. I still work from home to supplement our income. When we originally moved up here, my husband owned his own business so he was able to work from home even though his office was in Brooklyn. Recently he sold his company and now works in the city, stays in a “corporate” apt. and travels quite a bit. Commuting from up here is difficult for sure. I use those statements about being a city and Hamptons girl to illustrate a point and it’s quite tongue in cheek. We were a middle class family and my mother just happened to have amazing real estate karma (hence the house in the Hamptons). However I was brought up to feel abundant and I think using money as an obstacle to fulfilling your desires is an old paradigm that is slowly becoming obsolete. My post was simply my perspective on living here, not the logistics of what it took to get here or what we do for a living. I didn’t get the sense that money was the deciding factor for @BklynorBeyond. It sounded more like a comfort zone decision. If you are really relying on the city for income than why would moving up here even be an option?

    • Deirdre says:
      January 11th, 2012 at 10:17 pm

      So Bklyn or Beyond – or bklyn vs burbs and beyond – is something that I started as a Yahoo Group almost 3 years ago, realizing that we were not the only couple having the conversation about moving out, especially since having kids. The group is pretty active and I think has helped people with answering questions and venting about the struggle. I started the blog and twitter handle last Spring to further the conversation, for both my family and those on the group.

      I think for most of us the decision is a lifestyle one for sure, but of course involves how we would work – either in or outside the city – to support ourselves. The suburbs would be an *easier* choice in the sense that you could keep your job if you were reliant on working in the city as many of us are. Thing is that the burbs don’t appeal to a lot of Brooklynites because they tend to be more cookie cutter. Therein lies the rub – we want more space and more access to nature but need to work in a city so where can we go? Or, can we handle the burbs and be done with it?

      And then there’s the people and places and amenities discussion which was touched on in the other post about Leaving the City. Some are just not willing to give those city things up, and for them we try to figure out different options in Brooklyn than the expected Brownstone areas that cost an arm and a leg for a shoebox.

      So we try to recognize that “the city” isn’t the only city in which one can find work. And if others have in fact found out a way to do it differently, maybe we can learn from that. I’m not sure it’s fair to say that using money as an obstacle is an old paradigm — we all still have to feed our kids. Plus, we’d need to be able to afford to pack everything up and move! I get what you’re saying, it’s about making a choice, but for many of us that choice if fraught with a lot of emotion since – I’ll speak for myself here – I actually love the life we’ve made in Brooklyn and I’d be part heartbroken to give that up. Doesn’t mean that I don’t want to dream about something else.

      • January 11th, 2012 at 11:04 pm

        Gotcha… I didn’t realize this was a group dynamic! Totally didn’t mean to belittle anyone’s struggle. So without further ado I’m going to curl up by the fire, watch Ancient Aliens on Netflix and eat a whole box of Cheddar Bunny crackers.

        • Deirdre says:
          January 11th, 2012 at 11:40 pm

          Thanks for your thoughts. I’m jealous about the Cheddar Bunnies. I’m watching restaurant wars on Top Chef and will find something of my kids’ to munch on promptly.

  3. Christine Jones says:
    January 11th, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    My guess is that the Real Dutchess Mommy does not, and has never, actually supported herself. (Unless you count the interest from her trust fund as her own income). She is out of touch with those who have to consider where they work as a huge factor in deciding where they live. My guess is for her, and her Upper Eastside/East Hampton/Williamsburg pals, this isn’t a concern– blogging can be done from cafes worldwide.

    • Deirdre says:
      January 11th, 2012 at 7:16 pm

      I did think about the whole work thing not being a part of her post except that she does not (she’s home with her kid though, like many many many Brooklynites). Obviously commute is not a concern for either her or her husband – the people I know who live in that area are writers or freelancers of another sort who don’t rely on the city for their work on a M-F 9-5 basis.